Summer Fun with Science Fiction

Lego Astronauts being chased by an Lego skeleton astronaut

Hey kids! You've been learning cool things about space science all summer, but did you ever stop to think about how science and science fiction are related? Why not sit back, relax and enjoy these sci-fi stories before summer is over. We've all known some weird kids in school, but probably none like Bob and […]

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Top Picks for Back to School

Line of School buses

It's the end of August, which means you've either just started school or you'll soon be heading back. It doesn't matter if you're going to school for the very first time or have been in school for awhile—moving from summer vacation to school lessons and homework can be hard. When my son started kindergarten, a friend recommended The […]

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Happy Birthday, Baby Pandas!

Giant panda Mei Xiang

Exciting news from the National Zoo this weekend: Twin panda cubs were born to Mei Xiang, one of three giant pandas at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. This is Mei Xiang's third successful pregnancy. She gave birth in 2005 to Tai Shan, who was moved to China in 2010, and in 2013 to Bao Bao, who […]

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Hurricane Katrina: Destruction and Survival

New Orleans river boat at sunset

Do you like reading stories of survival? This year marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting the Gulf Coast and the flooding of New Orleans. Just imagine if you woke up to find water rushing into your home like Louis Daniel did in A Storm Called Katrina. What would you do? Learn the facts about […]

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Read Like an Egyptian

source:  Jan Tik, flickr

Missing tombs, hidden doorways and a powerful queen....it may sound like I'm describing a great fictional story, but in fact these are all pieces of a real-life mystery! For hundreds of years, the resting place of the beautiful and powerful Nefertiti, queen of Egypt in the 14th century B.C., has been a mystery. That was […]

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Author of the Month Jeff Anderson

Author Jeff Anderson

School fundraising has never been more hilarious in Jeff Anderson's first novel for kids, Zack Delacruz: Me And My Big Mouth. When he decides to stand up for another student who is being bullied, 12-year-old Zack Delacruz sets himself up to lead the sixth grade in their fundraiser for the school dance along side the […]

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Jeff Anderson Q & A

Zack Delacruz book cover

Get to know August's Author of the Month, Jeff Anderson, as he talks about the inspiration behind his first book for kids, Zack Delacruz: Me And My Big Mouth, how he got his start in writing and the power of keeping a journal. Where did you get your idea for this book? I was a teacher […]

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Explore More Rockets

Source: deanoakley, Flickr

It's always exciting and fascinating when a shuttle launches into space. The astronauts boarding the rocket, the anticipation of the count down and the rumble of the engines as they lift off are sights and sounds like nothing else. Why not bring a bit of that excitement and energy into your home by exploring rockets? Start by building […]

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Vacation Countdown

Source: Cristina, CPL

Most summers we stick around to enjoy all that Chicago has to offer, but this year we're packing our bags and heading to California. Coming along for the trip will be our Summer Learning Challenge Explorer’s Guide as we continue to read, discover and create. What vacation books or music are your favorites? Here are some things […]

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Alice’s 150 Years in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland book cover

Don't be late to the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Lewis Carroll's classic tale of the little girl who falls down the rabbit hole was originally published in 1865. To celebrate, the original publisher of Alice, Macmillan, has created some fun activities including a board game and playing cards. With so […]

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